Lewisham Council’s chief executive will be reducing his hours to the equivalent of three days a week, earning nearly £77,000 less.

Barry Quirk will take up the part time hours from July 1 this year until his intended retirement in June 2014.

He is currently paid £192,387 and year, but will be paid £115,432 under the new arrangements. This is expected to save the Council around £260,000 over the next three years.

Lewisham’s directly-elected Mayor and councillors have decided that retaining Mr Quirk as part-time chief executive will benefit the council and the people it serves.

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: “For 17 years Barry Quirk has provided outstanding management to Lewisham Council.

"I understand that Barry should want to consider his future at this point in his life and in his career.”

He added:“I can think of no one else I would rather work with as chief executive to help us chart our way through the next few years in which we face unprecedented challenge and change.”

Mr Quirk, aged 57, will begin his new working hours under the council’s flexible retirement scheme and will work his hours flexibly to best suit the council.

The Council will not be appointing a formal deputy chief executive, but from time to time Mr Quirk will identify an executive director to ensure a corporate response on issues which arise in his absence.